Senior School Co-Curriculum

Our timetable may say school starts at 8:30am and ends at 3:20pm, but everyday of the week there is some sporting or other activity available. Our teachers and students do not always immediately head for door when that bell rings, and learning does not start and stop at the classroom door. There are plenty of extra- and cross-curricular events during the year to keep you busy:

Our pupils’ intellectual endeavour does not halt when the books are closed. They are encouraged to be more than ‘book smart’ through a variety of class based and extra-curricular activities. Our Debating Society is one of our proudest and most accomplished institutions and both intra and inter-school debates are participated in with a fervour and devotion not seen since Cicero’s days… I could go on about the multitude of debating trophies, but I will let the debaters speak for themselves: they will anyway! The Science, Math and Art teachers lead our students every year into national competitions such as the Young Scientist Competition, Scifest and the Math Olympiad with impressive results. Our chess teams annually compete in the toughest division in the country and the boys hone their talent in furious lunchtime forays.

Music is probably the area where we have experienced the most development recently: our state-of-the-art Music Room is used for exam classes and individual lessons and by the St. Conleth’s School Choir. There is a regular Buskers’ Corner where students informally sing and play from the heart and every March there is the School Concert: an affair that attests to the great variety in our personalities and talents, with subtle, sublime classical pieces alternating with raucous, postpunk grungefests. Tastes may vary but the talent level is consistently high, and the recent Conlethian alumni who sit astride the album charts may soon have more competition!

We realize that healthy mind necessitates a healthy body so we fully promote participation in our various extra-curricular athletic programmes. Rugby is of course our main sport, and we have a proud tradition of competitiveness in the Leinster Shield and Cup competitions, having won the JCT League last year and reached the SCT Cup Final the year before. Our tennis, athletics, fencing and golf teams compete at the top levels and our Basketball teams are always great.
Another tradition at St. Conleth’s is the school tour. We stay domestic and go to adventure centres in Louth or Galway, or for French Adventure Camp in Donegal (!) but our First and Second Years also go to France for a mix of fun and culture. Our more exotic destinations over the years have included Finland, Peru, India, Mongolia, Tanzania and New York.

A few years ago, St. Conleth’s College embarked on a new venture in Uganda. Over the subsequent summers, over 80 pupils and several teachers established a link with a materially impoverished secondary school in Kayunga that went far beyond the typical ‘outward bound’ adventure. Our boys and girls gave and received in equal measure on the trips and now a programme is in place that will assure a mutually beneficial relationship wherever we go. This last summer we went to India for co-operative learning and a taste of the Himalayas!

DEBATING

‘St. Conleth’s’ is now a by-word for excellence in schools debating, as the school consistently achieves Leinster, national and international prominence and is a main feeder of the debating societies at universities, here and abroad. We have won numer-ous Leinster and All-Ireland Championships in recent years, and our students are now mainstays of the Irish Schools’ International Debating Team. The key to our success is that Debating Moderator Mr. Carvill brings the best of our alumni back to coach our current competitors after-school. Each year has a dedicated coach and after-school slot of their own. Having top Trinity and UCD university debaters returning to St. Conleth’s to prep the next generation of world-beaters is a fruitful strategy. We also have lively ‘in-house’ debates which match the L&H and the ‘Hist’ for wit, logic and fun!

MUSIC

St. Conleth’s has always had a proud tradition of emphasising music, but lately this has been taken to a whole new level. The dedicated Music Room is constantly a-buzz, hosting the practice of our School Choir and musicians or the more free-form adventures of various soloists and student bands as they prepare for our Annual School Concert, Christmas Carols, various other assemblies and or just simply jamming and having fun! A recent but very popular venue is ‘Buskers’ Corner’, an ‘open mic’ lunchtime concert which welcomes new performers of all styles, instruments and experiences to the stage. All First Years take Music, and get to show off their stuff in special Class Concerts, and they are encouraged to continue the subject into Second Year and the Junior Certificate. Music accompanies every single event at St. Conleth’s, or should we say, since it has become so important, school life now accompanies music!

MUSIC LESSONS

Students are encouraged to take individual lessons, by arrangement with our expert instrument teachers.

So-Young is an accomplished pianist, arranger and composer from South Korea. Winning multiple competitions in her native country as a classical pianist, So-Young has written for and led three successful jazz concerts at the National Concert Hall John Field Room and has been teaching in Walton’s New School of Music since 2008. Lessons include preparation for the Royal Irish Academy of Music and the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music Grade Exams.

Darragh O’Neill brings a wealth of experience to guitar lessons, having been inspiring young musicians for years. Students may determine their own curriculum based on personal interest and taste and/or work up the ranks of the ABRSM grade exams.

Please contact Rachel at lennonr@stconleths.ie to arrange individual lessons. Payments may be made through EasyPayment Plus on the school website.

CHESS

Chess satisfies the quieter yet just as keen competitive instincts of our pupils as they play at the lunchtime club, on inter-school teams and in the Annual St. Conleth’s Chess Tournament. There is a lunchtime Chess club once a week and the opportunity to benefit from further instruction after-school under the aegis of Grandmaster Alexander Baburin. We select and send teams to the Leinster Schools Chess Competition and in May we all enjoy the single-elimination Chess Tournament and awarding of the St. Conleth’s Chess Trophy. This level of interest and success carries on from the Junior School, where recently our Chess Team were named All-Ireland Junior Champions.

CODING

Mr. Travers, of FutureKids fame, is our resident IT guru and every class teacher is encouraged to make full use of the classroom computers, interactive whiteboard and the Computer Room itself. Ms. NiAonghusa has also started a ‘Coding Club’ after-school for those interest- ed in this obscure science which pretty much controls our lives! Close that YouTube video of ‘stupid pet tricks’ and come to the Coding Club to see how the digital world really works!

SPORT

Physical Education at St. Conleth’s is not just the prescribed domain of the few: it is enjoyed and practised by all the students across a spectrum of mandatory classes and optional, but encouraged, competitive sports.  First Years hit the ground running with a pre-season, all-sports camp, which introduces the students to our different sports, and each other, in a friendly, low-pressure environment.

 

St. Conleth’s is proudly a traditional rugby school but we also compete impressively against other schools in basketball, athletics, fencing, golf and tennis. There is a plethora of other sports, both in a varied and ambitious PE curriculum for all years and after school.  The School Sports Hall and the All-Weather Pitch at Herbert Park help make sport fun and accessible and the Annual Sports Day is always the fitting culmination of a year of enthusiastic physical education.

Physical education at St. Conleth’s involves a holistic approach to the concept of physical activity for young people. It emphasises the contribution of physical education to the promotion of individual and group well-being. Learning in physical education involves the acquisition of knowledge, concepts, skills and attitudes, together with recognition of its potential for integration with other curriculum areas.  We recently have added hurling, Gaelic football, ‘fun’ fencing and cricketto an already varied and ambitious programme.

Some of the local sports clubs with which we are involved:

RUGBY

Last year was a historic one for St. Conleth’s rugby with the SCT winning an unprecedented treble (see below!) but at St. Conleth’s, rugby is bigger than just a game with winners and losers.  Encouraging participation and promoting enjoyment, whatever the child’s ability, is a positive way to make the first significant steps towards developing a healthy lifestyle. Participation in team sports in particular stimulates inclusion and interaction. It builds self-confidence and self-esteem, and forges the fellowships and friendships that are unique to sport and promotes values such as integrity, solidarity and respect. At St. Conleth’s, we encourage all our boys to take part in school rugby. Through participation and structured training, rugby develops the key mental skills of self-control, concentration, discipline, decision-making and leadership. We have a proud tradition of winning Leinster A cups, leagues and shields (winning the treble last year!) but participation is the name of the game for all sports at St. Conleth’s, includ- ing rugby. Get your gear on, come down to the pitch and join your classmates in the team. You will really find friends for life!

 

St. Conleth’s Rugby Newslinks

A Season to Remember: St. Conleth’s SCT 2015-2016

 

 

 

 

 

BASKETBALL

Basketball has a relatively recent pedigree  at St. Conleth’s, but is quickly becoming a proud one. Our greatest claim to fame is a historic Basketball Ireland National Cup and League double in 2009 at the U16 Boys B level. We have also won several South Dublin Basketball League Championships, the most recent being the 2013 First Year (Minor) Championship. We have had three Irish players in recent years, but we are most proud of our participation and enjoyment levels: We have over 50 student athletes, both boys and girls, taking part in league and cup competitions and filling the school gym with the sounds of effort and fun, every afternoon.

GOLF

There are many benefits to playing golf, not the least of which is being outside breathing clean air and taking part in a physical activity for four hours on a beautiful day (or a slightly damp one). If one must miss a few classes to play ‘18’, well, all the better! We enter Leinster tournaments every year at both Junior and Senior Levels, and definitely for a small school, putt above our weight!

TENNIS

Tennis at St. Conleth’s has long been a mainstay of our sports schedule, with Conlethians competing on the courts against the best schools in Leinster. Now, we have extended lessons, by arrangement, from experienced, qualified coaches to all First Years. Stay-tuned for early Spring, when the tennis teams are formed and we battle against some of the traditional tennis powers.

FENCING

Fencing has evolved from centuries of duelling into an extremely safe but still incredibly exciting sport. The weapons used are blunt-ended, and fencers wear protective clothing which is reinforced to prevent injuries. Coaching by world-class professionals is available to all students. Current St. Conleth’s fencers and recent alumni are always near the top of the All-Ireland order of merit.

ATHLETICS

Athletics offers a range of disciplines that you can train in to improve your fitness and develop skills in your chosen area. It is an excellent school sport, because everyone can find a particular event which suits them. The last few years we have entered and placed in multiple events at both the East Leinsters and the Leinsters. Now, we have integrated athletics into our regular extra-curricular sports programme, providing weekly training and the opportunity for collaboration with local athletic clubs.